Christmas dinner sewage warning
The traditional Christmas roast with all the trimmings may be one of the highlights of the festive season but councils are warning it could also be a hidden cause of flooding.
Pouring leftover fat, oil and grease down the drain is a major cause of sewer blockages.
Fat, oil and grease in liquid form may not appear to be a problem but as it cools and hardens, it can lead to raw sewage flooding people's homes.
Stan Waddington, Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet member for environment, said: "Everyone can do their bit to help keep the drains clear and prevent flooding this Christmas by disposing of your cooking fat, oil and grease responsibly.
"No one wants to suffer the consequences of raw sewage flooding their gardens, driveways or, worse still, their homes. The only way to rid the sewers of these fat blockages is to use a high-pressure jet to loosen the fat and wash it away.
"Much of this jetting work could easily be avoided if people didn't regard their kitchen sink as an extension of the dustbin."
The council said even if hot soapy water is used, the fat will solidify on hitting the cold sewer walls and will collect other fat and debris.
Over time this builds up, preventing the normal flow of waste water and debris passing through and consequently coming out of drains, sewers and potentially into your home.
Councils say millions of pounds-worth of damage is caused at this time every year.
Gloucestershire County Council is recommending either allowing the fat to solidify and throwing it in the rubbish or putting it into a bin for a separate collection of food waste from your local council.